Community Woodshop Launches In Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA – Aspiring woodworkers can now learn and hone skills at Community Woodshop, near Los Angeles. Amid a dwindling number of woodshop vocational classes being offered in city school districts – and no place for people to hone their woodworking skills – a new woodshop and educational resource for people of all skills levels called the Community Woodshop has opened in Los Angeles, California, according to Laguna Tools, a leading distributor and manufacture of woodworking equipment.

At the beginning of this 34-unit program, students complete introductory courses in woodworking, tables and solid wood casegoods. Classes are generally scheduled 9am-5pm Monday through Friday, with some occassional weekend shop days and evening lectures/shop time. At Laguna Tools we aim to be globally local” by investing our time, support, products and services into many community outreach programs. They’re solid wood everywhere, including in the bottom, where you could so easily hide plywood. By the end of her 2nd day of class, I was signed up for the very next woodworking class offering.

I’m currently finishing up the bench class taught by Bob, and it’s been the highlight of my week for the past couple months. This resource has been designed to provide aspiring woodworkers with an overview of the formal training options at three Los Angeles community colleges. Alongside WoodShop is a 4000 sq ft sound stage, which will be used as an extension of WoodShop’s production arm.

The school is a pretty far drive from where I live, I only had access to the shop while class was in session, and I had to share all the equipment with the rest of the students in the class, which frequently meant waiting to use machines. Says Sam, The commercial production and post industry is finally acknowledging the artists’ community of Culver City. All experience levels are welcome; however we recommend that absolute beginners complete Yestermorrow’s Intro to the Woodshop, Powertools for Women, or an equivalent class or training program prior to enrolling.

If you have an idea just jump in with the safety class and go for it. So rewarding in so many ways. Offerman Woodshop is a small, ragtag collective of woodworkers and craftspersons based out of Nick Offerman’s kick-ass wood shop in East Los Angeles. A variety of lodging and meal options are available on campus and in the nearby community. Students can find additional training about 27 miles from downtown Los Angeles at Fullerton College. And, of course, I like to get pretty handsy with the wood while I plan a project.

Located on the ground level of the parking structure, the Wood/Metal shop offers an expansive selection of equipment ready to meet almost any fabrication need. I took the intro/safety class and have been attending open shop hours to finish a project. There is also a host of classes you can take if you want an intro into cabinet making, wood joining, turning etc. It was on a leisurely bike ride that long-time friends Sam and Trevor conceived of the WoodShop concept.

They will show you how to use certain machines for the first time and orient you to the shop itself but they will not help you with your project. Students also choose from courses that can cover wood veneering, advanced 32mm cabinetmaking, solid surface fabrication, mantels and wall systems. My apprehension to attend class had quickly turned into disappointment at being forced to leave class.

Students may also take electives in wood products manufacturing, electrical fundamentals and surface development. I signed up for a 3 month stint and hopefully will have some things to show for it. For my background, I took shop for 3 years in high school. I took the beginner and intermediate lathe turning classes at woodcraft and found them decent. Practice joinery and get to be comfortable with your tools on scrap wood before you ruin some expensive walnut.

My Savvy Source helps you connect and share with friends, family, experts and your community on the best of parenting advice and resources. So brothers Bob and Roy Stevens reasoned there would be a market for a new woodshop and educational resource in Los Angeles: The Community Woodshop. It’s like a co-op where everybody can build whatever they want to and then they just pay an overhead to the shop. So I’ve put together this group of woodworkers captained by a redoubtable young lady named Rebecca Lee, and we created this going concern, Offerman Woodshop.

Other classes include a July workshop on making tree swings, an August session on weaving a Danish cord seat, by David Johnson of Sidecar Furniture, and one in September on making lamps. The works in the exhibition were fabricated from trees that fell in northeastern Los Angeles during the historic windstorm of 2011. The Woodshop Tasting is fashioned as an indulgent beer connoisseur’s beer festival and bottle-share.

To avoid being dependent on friends to borrow tools – or their time – I immediately looked up and found the Community Woodshop and am grateful for Scott and the co-op styled space. Since woodshop vocational classes being offered in city school districts are waning, and with government budget cuts, the public has fewer places to learn and hone woodworking skills. Students can take classes in construction and building estimation, as well as electives in cabinetmaking and woodwork. My friend who lives in the San Fernando Valley wants to take wood working classes. My friends love to hang out there, and are surprised that they would want to hang out in a wood shop.